Literature context: #827-08365, LI-COR Biosciences, RRID:AB_10796098). The membranes were imaged and
The circadian glucocorticoid-Krüppel-like factor 15-branched-chain amino acid (GC-KLF15-BCAA) signaling pathway is a key regulatory axis in muscle, whose imbalance has wide-reaching effects on metabolic homeostasis. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder also characterized by intrinsic muscle pathologies, metabolic abnormalities and disrupted sleep patterns, which can influence or be influenced by circadian regulatory networks that control behavioral and metabolic rhythms. We therefore set out to investigate the contribution of the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway in SMA pathophysiology of Taiwanese Smn-/-;SMN2 and Smn2B/- mouse models. We thus uncover substantial dysregulation of GC-KLF15-BCAA diurnal rhythmicity in serum, skeletal muscle and metabolic tissues of SMA mice. Importantly, modulating the components of the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway via pharmacological (prednisolone), genetic (muscle-specific Klf15 overexpression) and dietary (BCAA supplementation) interventions significantly improves disease phenotypes in SMA mice. Our study highlights the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway as a contributor to SMA pathogenesis and provides several treatment avenues to alleviate peripheral manifestations of the disease. The therapeutic potential of targeting metabolic perturbations by diet and commercially available drugs could have a broader implementation across other neuromuscular and metabolic disorders characterized by altered GC-KLF15-BCAA signaling.
The c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signal transduction pathway is implicated in learning and memory. Here, we examined the role of JNK activation mediated by the JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) scaffold protein. We compared male wild-type mice with a mouse model harboring a point mutation in the Jip1 gene that selectively blocks JIP1-mediated JNK activation. These male mutant mice exhibited increased NMDAR currents, increased NMDAR-mediated gene expression, and a lower threshold for induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation. The JIP1 mutant mice also displayed improved hippocampus-dependent spatial memory and enhanced associative fear conditioning. These results were confirmed using a second JIP1 mutant mouse model that suppresses JNK activity. Together, these observations establish that JIP1-mediated JNK activation contributes to the regulation of hippocampus-dependent, NMDAR-mediated synaptic plasticity and learning.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The results of this study demonstrate that c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation induced by the JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) scaffold protein negatively regulates the threshold for induction of long-term synaptic plasticity through the NMDA-type glutamate receptor. This change in plasticity threshold influences learning. Indeed, mice with defects in JIP1-mediated JNK activation display enhanced memory in hippocampus-dependent tasks, such as contextual fear conditioning and Morris water maze, indicating that JIP1-JNK constrains spatial memory. This study identifies JIP1-mediated JNK activation as a novel molecular pathway that negatively regulates NMDAR-dependent synaptic plasticity and memory.
Literature context: goat anti-rabbit IgG (926-33210 RRID:AB_10796098; Licor).
The importance of natural gene expression variation for human behavior is undisputed, but its impact on circadian physiology remains mostly unexplored. Using umbilical cord fibroblasts, we have determined by genome-wide association how common genetic variation impacts upon cellular circadian function. Gene set enrichment points to differences in protein catabolism as one major source of clock variation in humans. The two most significant alleles regulated expression of COPS7B, a subunit of the COP9 signalosome. We further show that the signalosome complex is imported into the nucleus in timed fashion to stabilize the essential circadian protein BMAL1, a novel mechanism to oppose its proteasome-mediated degradation. Thus, circadian clock properties depend in part upon a genetically-encoded competition between stabilizing and destabilizing forces, and genetic alterations in these mechanisms provide one explanation for human chronotype.
Literature context: led secondary antibody (LI-COR; RRID:AB_10796098).
We determined that the tandem SH2 domain of S. cerevisiae Spt6 binds the linker region of the RNA polymerase II subunit Rpb1 rather than the expected sites in its heptad repeat domain. The 4 nM binding affinity requires phosphorylation at Rpb1 S1493 and either T1471 or Y1473. Crystal structures showed that pT1471 binds the canonical SH2 pY site while pS1493 binds an unanticipated pocket 70 Å distant. Remarkably, the pT1471 phosphate occupies the phosphate-binding site of a canonical pY complex, while Y1473 occupies the position of a canonical pY side chain, with the combination of pT and Y mimicking a pY moiety. Biochemical data and modeling indicate that pY1473 can form an equivalent interaction, and we find that pT1471/pS1493 and pY1473/pS1493 combinations occur in vivo. ChIP-seq and genetic analyses demonstrate the importance of these interactions for recruitment of Spt6 to sites of transcription and for the maintenance of repressive chromatin.
Literature context: 27-08365; RRID:AB_10796098 IRDye 680R
Astrocytes are ubiquitous in the brain and are widely held to be largely identical. However, this view has not been fully tested, and the possibility that astrocytes are neural circuit specialized remains largely unexplored. Here, we used multiple integrated approaches, including RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), mass spectrometry, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, serial block-face-scanning electron microscopy, morphological reconstructions, pharmacogenetics, and diffusible dye, calcium, and glutamate imaging, to directly compare adult striatal and hippocampal astrocytes under identical conditions. We found significant differences in electrophysiological properties, Ca2+ signaling, morphology, and astrocyte-synapse proximity between striatal and hippocampal astrocytes. Unbiased evaluation of actively translated RNA and proteomic data confirmed significant astrocyte diversity between hippocampal and striatal circuits. We thus report core astrocyte properties, reveal evidence for specialized astrocytes within neural circuits, and provide new, integrated database resources and approaches to explore astrocyte diversity and function throughout the adult brain. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
Differentiation of oligodendroglial progenitor cells (OPCs) into myelinating oligodendrocytes is known to be regulated by the microenvironment where they differentiate. However, current research has not verified whether or not oligodendroglial lineage cells (OLCs) derived from different anatomical regions of the central nervous system (CNS) respond to microenvironmental cues in the same manner. Here, we isolated pure OPCs from rat neonatal forebrain (FB) and spinal cord (SC) and compared their phenotypes in the same in vitro conditions. We found that although FB and SC OLCs responded differently to the same external factors; they were distinct in proliferation response to mitogens, oligodendrocyte phenotype after differentiation, and cytotoxic responses to α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate-type glutamate receptor-mediated excitotoxicity at immature stages of differentiation in a cell-intrinsic manner. Moreover, transcriptome analysis identified genes differentially expressed between these OPC populations, including those encoding transcription factors (TFs), cell surface molecules, and signaling molecules. Particularly, FB and SC OPCs retained the expression of FB- or SC-specific TFs, such as Foxg1 and Hoxc8, respectively, even after serial passaging in vitro. Given the essential role of these TFs in the regional identities of CNS cells along the rostrocaudal axis, our results suggest that CNS region-specific gene regulation by these TFs may cause cell-intrinsic differences in cellular responses between FB and SC OLCs to extracellular molecules. Further understanding of the regional differences among OPC populations will help to improve treatments for demyelination in different CNS regions and to facilitate the development of stem cell-derived OPCs for cell transplantation therapies for demyelination. Cover Image for this issue: doi. 10.1111/jnc.13809.
Literature context: e goat anti-rabbit IRDye 800CW (RRID:AB_10796098) and donkey anti-rabbit IRDye 6
Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) deficiency is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by epileptic seizures, severe intellectual disability, and autistic features. Mice lacking CDKL5 display multiple behavioral abnormalities reminiscent of the disorder, but the cellular origins of these phenotypes remain unclear. Here, we find that ablating CDKL5 expression specifically from forebrain glutamatergic neurons impairs hippocampal-dependent memory in male conditional knock-out mice. Hippocampal pyramidal neurons lacking CDKL5 show decreased dendritic complexity but a trend toward increased spine density. This morphological change is accompanied by an increase in the frequency of spontaneous miniature EPSCs and interestingly, miniature IPSCs. Using voltage-sensitive dye imaging to interrogate the evoked response of the CA1 microcircuit, we find that CA1 pyramidal neurons lacking CDKL5 show hyperexcitability in their dendritic domain that is constrained by elevated inhibition in a spatially and temporally distinct manner. These results suggest a novel role for CDKL5 in the regulation of synaptic function and uncover an intriguing microcircuit mechanism underlying impaired learning and memory.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) deficiency is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the CDKL5 gene. Although Cdkl5 constitutive knock-out mice have recapitulated key aspects of human symptomatology, the cellular origins of CDKL5 deficiency-related phenotypes are unknown. Here, using conditional knock-out mice, we show that hippocampal-dependent learning and memory deficits in CDKL5 deficiency have origins in glutamatergic neurons of the forebrain and that loss of CDKL5 results in the enhancement of synaptic transmission and disruptions in neural circuit dynamics in a spatially and temporally specific manner. Our findings demonstrate that CDKL5 is an important regulator of synaptic function in glutamatergic neurons and serves a critical role in learning and memory.
Literature context: 27-08365; RRID:AB_10796098). Membrane
Chronic exposure to high-saturated fat diets (HFDs) increases the prevalence of obesity and contributes to the development of low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance. A possible mediator accounting for obesity-associated inflammation and insulin resistance is Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). We investigated the role of adipocyte TLR4 in lipid and glucose homeostasis through an inducible, adipocyte-specific deletion of TLR4 in a mouse model that is referred to as the "Tadipo" mouse. Consistent with a critical role for inflammation as a positive force for healthy adipose tissue expansion, chronic HFD exposure results in exacerbated whole-body and muscle insulin resistance in the absence of TLR4 in the adipocyte. Elimination of TLR4 in adipocytes affects TLR4 expression in other tissues, with reduced TLR4 expression in peritoneal macrophages and in the liver. In contrast, TLR4 deletion from adipocytes protects whole-body insulin sensitivity after an acute lipid challenge during a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Our results therefore demonstrate dichotomous effects of TLR4 on adipose tissue functionality, with an important positive role of TLR4 during a chronic HFD challenge due to the lack of adipose tissue remodeling and a negative role of TLR4 as a mediator of insulin resistance in the adipocyte during an acute challenge with saturated fatty acids.
Literature context: 827-08365 RRID:AB_10796098). Membrane
How cells specify morphologically distinct plasma membrane domains is poorly understood. Prior work has shown that restriction of microvilli to the apical aspect of epithelial cells requires the localized activation of the membrane-F-actin linking protein ezrin. Using an in vitro system, we now define a multi-step process whereby the kinase LOK specifically phosphorylates ezrin to activate it. Binding of PIP2 to ezrin induces a conformational change permitting the insertion of the LOK C-terminal domain to wedge apart the membrane and F-actin-binding domains of ezrin. The N-terminal LOK kinase domain can then access a site 40 residues distal from the consensus sequence that collectively direct phosphorylation of the appropriate threonine residue. We suggest that this elaborate mechanism ensures that ezrin is only phosphorylated at the plasma membrane, and with high specificity by the apically localized kinase LOK.
Literature context: 27-08365, RRID:AB_10796098).
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder and a major medical problem. Here, we have investigated the impact of amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, AD-related neurotoxins, in the brains of rats and adult nonhuman primates (cynomolgus macaques). Soluble Aβ oligomers are known to accumulate in the brains of AD patients and correlate with disease-associated cognitive dysfunction. When injected into the lateral ventricle of rats and macaques, Aβ oligomers diffused into the brain and accumulated in several regions associated with memory and cognitive functions. Cardinal features of AD pathology, including synapse loss, tau hyperphosphorylation, astrocyte and microglial activation, were observed in regions of the macaque brain where Aβ oligomers were abundantly detected. Most importantly, oligomer injections induced AD-type neurofibrillary tangle formation in the macaque brain. These outcomes were specifically associated with Aβ oligomers, as fibrillar amyloid deposits were not detected in oligomer-injected brains. Human and macaque brains share significant similarities in terms of overall architecture and functional networks. Thus, generation of a macaque model of AD that links Aβ oligomers to tau and synaptic pathology has the potential to greatly advance our understanding of mechanisms centrally implicated in AD pathogenesis. Furthermore, development of disease-modifying therapeutics for AD has been hampered by the difficulty in translating therapies that work in rodents to humans. This new approach may be a highly relevant nonhuman primate model for testing therapeutic interventions for AD.